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Old 11-20-2008, 02:49 PM
"Dustin Kirkland"
 
Default /etc/motd template

In Intrepid, the Ubuntu Server Team created a new package,
update-motd, which provides a very flexible framework for dynamically
and regularly generating a more interesting and informative /etc/motd.

From a command-line-only (Ubuntu Server) perspective, a dynamic MOTD
approximates a text-based alternative to the Desktop's system tray.

In Intrepid, the primary user of update-motd is landscape-sysinfo,
which provides some useful statistics about the current system.

In Jaunty, we have already added hooks to update-notifier to provide
the number of updates available, and when a system restart is required
using update-motd. I have a few more ideas about programs that could
"grow" update-motd hooks, and I'm sure you can think of a few too...

My question to you is about the stock /etc/motd used in Ubuntu, pasted
here for convenience:

--------
Linux t61p 2.6.27-8-generic #1 SMP Thu Nov 6 17:38:14 UTC 2008 x86_64

The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.

Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
applicable law.

To access official Ubuntu documentation, please visit:
http://help.ubuntu.com/
--------

This "stock" information is provided by /etc/motd.tail (plus the uname
line). update-motd is currently using this, because, well, we always
have.

I'm curious if the "free software" and "no warranty" paragraphs are
still necessary/useful? Do they belong in the MOTD, printed *every*
time a user logs onto a system on the command line?

My thought is that these aren't exactly "Messages of the Day" (and we
really now have the capability to make the MOTD be "Messages of the
Day"). They're more like the "tips" you get the first time you open
Gimp, or something. Would it be better to display these on first
boot, or first-login, and then stow them away elsewhere, and leave
/etc/motd to the more interesting, dynamic messages that provide
relevant information about your system?


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Old 11-20-2008, 02:55 PM
"Adam Sommer"
 
Default /etc/motd template

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 10:49 AM, Dustin Kirkland <kirkland@ubuntu.com> wrote:





I'm curious if the "free software" and "no warranty" paragraphs are

still necessary/useful? *Do they belong in the MOTD, printed *every*

time a user logs onto a system on the command line?




My thought is that these aren't exactly "Messages of the Day" (and we

really now have the capability to make the MOTD be "Messages of the

Day"). *They're more like the "tips" you get the first time you open

Gimp, or something. *Would it be better to display these on first

boot, or first-login, and then stow them away elsewhere, and leave

/etc/motd to the more interesting, dynamic messages that provide

relevant information about your system?




*Just my 2 cents, but editing /etc/motd.tail is one of the first things I do when installing a new box.* Yes I agree that using motd for more interesting/relevant information is a good idea.


Thanks for listening.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:06 PM
"Stefan Lesicnik"
 
Default /etc/motd template

>
> My question to you is about the stock /etc/motd used in Ubuntu, pasted
> here for convenience:
>
> --------
> Linux t61p 2.6.27-8-generic #1 SMP Thu Nov 6 17:38:14 UTC 2008 x86_64
>
> The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
> the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
> individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.
>
> Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
> applicable law.
>
> To access official Ubuntu documentation, please visit:
> http://help.ubuntu.com/
> --------
>
> This "stock" information is provided by /etc/motd.tail (plus the uname
> line). update-motd is currently using this, because, well, we always
> have.
>
> I'm curious if the "free software" and "no warranty" paragraphs are
> still necessary/useful? Do they belong in the MOTD, printed *every*
> time a user logs onto a system on the command line?

I'm not sure this is necessary. I also often have clients or end users
logging into Ubuntu servers and seeing a supplied server with 'no
warranty' message always raises questions.
I like the idea of doing something more useful with the MOTD.


> --
> :-Dustin
>
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>

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Old 11-20-2008, 03:18 PM
Bryce Harrington
 
Default /etc/motd template

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 09:49:08AM -0600, Dustin Kirkland wrote:
> >From a command-line-only (Ubuntu Server) perspective, a dynamic MOTD
> approximates a text-based alternative to the Desktop's system tray.
>
> My question to you is about the stock /etc/motd used in Ubuntu, pasted
> here for convenience:
>
> --------
> Linux t61p 2.6.27-8-generic #1 SMP Thu Nov 6 17:38:14 UTC 2008 x86_64
>
> The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
> the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
> individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.
>
> Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted by
> applicable law.
>
> To access official Ubuntu documentation, please visit:
> http://help.ubuntu.com/

Couldn't this be shortened to one line?

Access official Ubuntu documentation at http://help.ubuntu.com/

> --------
>
> This "stock" information is provided by /etc/motd.tail (plus the uname
> line). update-motd is currently using this, because, well, we always
> have.
>
> I'm curious if the "free software" and "no warranty" paragraphs are
> still necessary/useful? Do they belong in the MOTD, printed *every*
> time a user logs onto a system on the command line?

The disclaimer does seem excessive, particularly from the sense of being
a "Message of the Day", since it will never change. Displaying it one
time on first boot, and then just a short reference after would make
sense?

Your system uses free software; please see ... for terms.

What might be slick would be if this could detect if non-free software
is installed on the system, and highlight that too.


Unrelated question - will the motd be able to highlight and warn on
conditions like low disk space, excessive cpu temps, battery/hardware
recalls, etc.?

Bryce



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Old 11-20-2008, 03:48 PM
"Dustin Kirkland"
 
Default /etc/motd template

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 10:18 AM, Bryce Harrington <bryce@canonical.com> wrote:
> On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 09:49:08AM -0600, Dustin Kirkland wrote:
>> To access official Ubuntu documentation, please visit:
>> http://help.ubuntu.com/
>
> Couldn't this be shortened to one line?
>
> Access official Ubuntu documentation at http://help.ubuntu.com/

I'd agree with that.

> The disclaimer does seem excessive, particularly from the sense of being
> a "Message of the Day", since it will never change. Displaying it one
> time on first boot, and then just a short reference after would make
> sense?

Agreed, thanks. I'm looking for some consensus, if there's any more
out there...

> Your system uses free software; please see ... for terms.
>
> What might be slick would be if this could detect if non-free software
> is installed on the system, and highlight that too.

That would be easy to implement with an update-motd hook, if someone
has a script that detects non-free software. We'd just need to find
the right package to put that script in, and install a symlink it
into, say, /etc/update-motd/daily.

> Unrelated question - will the motd be able to highlight and warn on
> conditions like low disk space, excessive cpu temps, battery/hardware
> recalls, etc.?

Install landscape-common, and see landscape-sysinfo ... It collects
some really cool stuff, and puts it into your MOTD. Mine currently
says:

System load: 0.26 Swap usage: 0% Users logged in: 1
Usage of /: 55.7% of 19.84GB Temperature: 47 C
Memory usage: 43% Processes: 184

=> /local is using 87.4% of 85.50GB

You might open a feature request bug against landscape-client to
highlight warning/error/danger situations somehow.

:-Dustin

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Old 11-20-2008, 03:53 PM
Lars Wirzenius
 
Default /etc/motd template

to, 2008-11-20 kello 10:48 -0600, Dustin Kirkland kirjoitti:
> That would be easy to implement with an update-motd hook, if someone
> has a script that detects non-free software.

vrms from the package of the same name?



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Old 11-20-2008, 04:23 PM
Kees Cook
 
Default /etc/motd template

Hi,

On Thu, Nov 20, 2008 at 09:49:08AM -0600, Dustin Kirkland wrote:
> I'm curious if the "free software" and "no warranty" paragraphs are
> still necessary/useful? Do they belong in the MOTD, printed *every*
> time a user logs onto a system on the command line?

I think it's critical that it continues to say "free software" -- this
is a defining characteristic of a Linux-based system, and should remain
some where obvious on every "use" of the system. I have no opinion
about the warranty bit, though.

-Kees

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Old 11-20-2008, 08:46 PM
Ted Smith
 
Default /etc/motd template

On Thu, 2008-11-20 at 18:53 +0200, Lars Wirzenius wrote:
> to, 2008-11-20 kello 10:48 -0600, Dustin Kirkland kirjoitti:
> > That would be easy to implement with an update-motd hook, if someone
> > has a script that detects non-free software.
>
> vrms from the package of the same name?
>
>
vrms is problematic. It goes by the DFSG, whereas Ubuntu (or at least
Gobuntu, when it existed) goes by the FSF guidelines. As such, using
that to notify a user of non-free software on a system would probably
cause a lot of false positives and scares (the human theme used
to be flagged as non-free by vrms, iirc).

A better solution would probably be hooks on non-free packages.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:55 PM
Karl Goetz
 
Default /etc/motd template

On Thu, 20 Nov 2008 18:53:36 +0200
Lars Wirzenius <lars@ubuntu.com> wrote:

> to, 2008-11-20 kello 10:48 -0600, Dustin Kirkland kirjoitti:
> > That would be easy to implement with an update-motd hook, if someone
> > has a script that detects non-free software.
>
> vrms from the package of the same name?
>

vrms would need to be fixed (along with packages that incorrectly mark
themselves as free/non-free).
kk

>
>


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Debian user / gNewSense contributor
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:04 PM
Karl Goetz
 
Default /etc/motd template

On Thu, 20 Nov 2008 09:49:08 -0600
"Dustin Kirkland" <kirkland@ubuntu.com> wrote:

> In Intrepid, the Ubuntu Server Team created a new package,
> update-motd, which provides a very flexible framework for dynamically
> and regularly generating a more interesting and informative /etc/motd.

similar to sysnews?

>
> My question to you is about the stock /etc/motd used in Ubuntu, pasted
> here for convenience:
>
> --------
> Linux t61p 2.6.27-8-generic #1 SMP Thu Nov 6 17:38:14 UTC 2008
> x86_64
>
> The programs included with the Ubuntu system are free software;
> the exact distribution terms for each program are described in the
> individual files in /usr/share/doc/*/copyright.
>
> Ubuntu comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY, to the extent permitted
> by applicable law.
>
> To access official Ubuntu documentation, please visit:
> http://help.ubuntu.com/
> --------
>
> This "stock" information is provided by /etc/motd.tail (plus the uname
> line). update-motd is currently using this, because, well, we always
> have.

Which was inherited from Debian.

>
> I'm curious if the "free software" and "no warranty" paragraphs are
> still necessary/useful?

Since its basically Debians motd with s/Debian/Ubuntu/g it may not be
particularly relevant. (Remember Debian has traditionally been a Free
Software distribution, the message may even date back to the FSF
sponsored part of its life).

> Do they belong in the MOTD, printed *every*
> time a user logs onto a system on the command line?

Depends - how many programs require a user is notified of the licence
[location]?
Once may be enough, thats just a thought.

>
> My thought is that these aren't exactly "Messages of the Day" (and we
> really now have the capability to make the MOTD be "Messages of the
> Day"). They're more like the "tips" you get the first time you open
> Gimp, or something. Would it be better to display these on first
> boot, or first-login, and then stow them away elsewhere, and leave
> /etc/motd to the more interesting, dynamic messages that provide
> relevant information about your system?

Finding documentation and finding licence information *is* relevant to
the system
kk

>
>


--
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Debian user / gNewSense contributor
http://www.kgoetz.id.au
No, I won't join your social networking group

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